Saturday, March 03, 2018

Van McLain, R.I.P.

Van McLain, the primary artistic force of Shooting Star, has died.  The most successful rock band to emerge from Kansas City in the 1980s, Shooting Star was also exceedingly unfashionable.

A stylistic holdover from the classic rock era dominated by Midwestern bands like Styx, Kansas, Head East and REO Speedwagon, Shooting Star played outmoded pomp-prog in the age of Talking Heads, the Clash and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers.

Even so, Shooting Star songs including “Last Chance,” “Bring It On” and “Hang On For Your Life” were championed by radio stations like KSHE in St. Louis and KY102 in Kansas City.

I had a complicated professional relationship with McLain.  He and I rarely saw eye-to-eye, but he always behaved honorably.  He sings lead on the uncharacteristically poppy “You’ve Got What I Need”, my favorite Shooting Star song.

(Original image by There Stands the Glass.)


Insedit said...

So sorry to hear about Mr. McLain. Author, if you are interested in some old school rock history in the region around KC I would be happy to share my info for you to post under your name.

Gary said...

Insedit, you should share :old school rock history in the region around KC" with Rick Hellman, curator of KC Rock History.